Today’s guest is Jan Rogers, owner and director of Marble Brewery in Manchester.
In 1990, Jan turned up for a drink at the Marble Arch pub and – in her words – didn’t go home. She began working at the pub and, when it was facing uncertainty in the late ‘90s, Jan was adamant that karaoke wasn’t the fix. Instead, the decision was made to install a small brew kit in the pub and that’s how Marble Brewery began back in 1997.
From Marble’s early days, I ask Jan to reflect on how both the business and the beer industry have changed over the last twenty years. (Yes, it was a big ask, but Jan’s got some great stories and incredible insight to share.)
We talk about why she sees the brewery’s small size as an asset and how it’s allowed her to create a sense of community not only within the business, but across the Manchester and broader UK beer scene, too.
Jan tells me what aspects of her job she enjoys best, what she’s most proud of, and what her vision is for Marble’s future.
Before I turn it over to our conversation, I just wanted to add in a mention of how Jan and I met: Back in November, I headed up to Manchester to record my first ever live episode of Beer with Nat at the Ladies’ Big Beery Meet-up – a meet up of beer-loving ladies from across the country hosted by Ladies that Beer and Crafty Beer Girls – which you’ll hear on my next episode.
Jan not only hosted us at one of Marble Brewery’s venues, 57 Thomas Street, she also agreed to get there early to meet me for a beer and a chat before the event kicked off so I could squeeze in another recording while in town. Thanks again, Jan!
Although we’d not met before, I heard Jan’s Northern Irish accent and instantly felt right at home. Yes, I sound very American by now, but both of my parents are Northern Irish and I actually lived there for a few years as a child. It felt like Jan and I had an immediate connection and I couldn’t wait to sit down, chat and get to know her better.
Here she is…
A few other things we mention:
-Why a can of Marble’s Pint is called “Metric”
-Marble’s former head brewer, James Kemp or “JK”
-The sale of Marble Beerhouse
Image by Nicci Peet
-Nicci Peet is a freelance photographer who has just launched a documentary project photographing women in beer across the UK. Check out her incredible work, and if you’d like to support her, consider donating via her Patreon page.